Monday, May 2, 2016

WTRSF: Meet the Design Team

Director - Kimberly Mohne Hill
Kimberly Mohne Hill is pleased to return to the Dragon Theater after directing The Other Place last season and Six Years in 2008.  Kimberly has a long history as an actor, teacher, dialect coach, and director in the Bay Area. She received her MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in San Francisco. She is an Associate Professor of Acting at Santa Clara University.  She most recently directed Venus in Fur at San Jose Stage Company and The Tempest at SCU. Other Directing credits include In the Next Room (or, the vibrator play) at CityLights Theater; The Seafarer and Reasons to be Pretty (San Jose Stage Company); In the Heights, Footloose, Hayfever, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Songs for a New World (Santa Clara University); I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change! and The Last Five Years (Staged Concerts- Music Theater Conservatory/NDNU); Machinal (A.D. for Amy Freed at Studio A.C.T.).  Her next project will be directing Footloose at West Valley Light Opera.

She continues to Dialect Coach around the Bay Area and most recently worked on The Elephant Man at CityLights in San Jose. Additionally, she has published three books for Young Actors on the subject of dialects: Monologues in Dialect for Young Actors, Vol. I & II and Scenes in Dialect for Young Actors. A professional actress as well, she was last seen onstage in San Jose Rep’s beautiful version of A Christmas Carol where she played numerous roles including “Mrs. Cratchit” and “Mrs. Fezziwig”.
Stage Manager - Katie Semans
Katie is excited to be joining Dragon Theatre for her third production. A resident of the Bay Area for seventeen years, Katie grew up working with local school and youth theatre productions. After a four-year hiatus from theatre work to pursue her degree in Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona, she is thrilled to be backstage again. Credits include The Voice of the Prairie, Show People (Dragon Productions), Death of a Salesman (San Jose Stage Company), Art and Spamalot (City Lights Theatre Company), Les Miserables and All Shook Up (Peninsula Youth Theatre). A true Silicon Valley nerd, when Katie is not at the theatre, she works as a software tester at Google. She would like to thank her family and friends for understanding and supporting her in her weird mash up of theatrical and engineering endeavors.
Scenic Designer - Daniel Stahlnecker
Currently a student at Santa Clara University, Daniel Stahlnecker is a young up and coming designer. Studying both acting as well as theatrical design, Daniel entered the scenic world three years ago. His work includes assisting his mentor, Jerry Enos, in shows such as Awake and Sing!, The Good Doctor, What Would Crazy Horse Do, and Chicago. Daniel is very excited to display his work here at Dragon Productions.
Technical Director - Charles McKeithan
Charles has been working in Bay Area theater for over ten years now as an actor and a carpenter and is happy to be back with the Dragon for another round of fun. His past works include Voice of the Prairie at the Dragon, Walls of Jericho at the Pear, Colossus at SF Playhouse, and countless productions with Ron Gaspernetti under the guise of Thrust Scenic Design.
Lighting Designer - Dan Garrett
Dan is excited to join the cast and crew in bringing you When the Rain Stops Falling! This is his inaugural show with Dragon Productions, bringing his twelve years of technical theater experience to Redwood City. A native of the Santa Cruz area, he has supported over eighty productions with twenty different companies in a dozen venues with all aspects of technical work from light to flight. Recent credits include Lighting Designer for Spotlight Youth Conservatory’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Lead Flight operator for Cabrillo Stage’s Mary Poppins. Connect via
Sound Designer - Ryan Short
Ryan is excited to be designing his first show at Dragon! His noises (and sometimes music) can also be heard in productions around the Bay Area including at The Custom Made Theatre Company in San Francisco and San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s Free Shakespeare in the Park (where he is a proud member of the Resident Artist Company). He also can be found behind mixing consoles at the occasional musical and the annual San Francisco Sketchfest. Many thanks to Kimberly, Katie, and Taylor, as well as the rest of this fabulously talented cast and crew, and much love to Laura.
Costume Designer - Elizabeth Coy
Elizabeth is proud to be working on her first production at Dragon Theater. She has been a licensed cosmetologist for over 20 years and holds a bachelors degree in Theater from San Francisco State University. As a photo stylist, Elizabeth's work can be seen in the current Safeway ad campaign. She has also done work for Longs Drugstore Back to School ads, several issues of Bon Appetit magazine, as well as three covers for Gentry magazine. Her credits include, styling the hair, makeup, and wardrobe for over 25 Comcast Spotlight commercials, Facebook's annual convention f8, the Josh Kornbluth show at KQED. She has also designed the hair, makeup, and even props for shows at City Lights Theater Company in San Jose and Filbert Steps productions at Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.

During the week, Elizabeth can be found doing hair at Tonic Salon in Belmont. Check out her work Instagram @lizthestylistt or her website,
Properties Designer - Beth Covey-Snedegar

Beth has been on the stage and off since she was a little girl. Her passion for theatre inspired her to become a theatre arts instructor, teaching musical theatre, dance and acting to kids of all ages. In her off time, she is a first time mom and owns her own floral design and special events company, Sassy Diva Designs and Events.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

When the Rain Stops Falling: The Australian Locations

Adelaide - The capital city of South Australia, Adelaide is the fifth-most populous city of Australia. In June 2014, Adelaide had an estimated resident population of 1.3 million. 

Named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningenqueen consort to King William IV, the city was founded in 1836 as the planned capital for a freely-settled British province in Australia. Colonel William Light, one of Adelaide's founding fathers, designed the city and chose its location close to the River Torrens, in the area originally inhabited by the Kaurna people. Light's design set out Adelaide in a grid layout, interspaced by wide boulevards and large public squares, and entirely surrounded by parklands. Early Adelaide was shaped by prosperity and wealth — up until the Second World War, it was Australia's third largest city. It has been noted for early examples of religious freedom, a commitment to political progressivism and civil liberties. It has been known as the "City of Churches" since the mid-19th century.

Alice Springs - Alice Springs is the third largest town in the Northern Territory, Australia. Popularly known as "the Alice" or simply "Alice", Alice Springs is situated in the geographic center of Australia. ‘The Alice’, as it is known, combines laid-back charm with all the modern conveniences, comforts and diversions you’d find in a good-sized town. The site is known as Mparntwe to its original inhabitants, the Arrernte, who have lived in the Central Australian desert in and around what is now Alice Springs for thousands of years. "Alice" in the English language was named by surveyor William Whitfield Mills after Lady Alice Todd, wife of the telegraph pioneer Sir Charles Todd

Alice Springs has a population of 28,605, which makes up 12.2 percent of the territory's population.

The town straddles the usually dry Todd River on the northern side of the MacDonnell Ranges. The surrounding region is known as Central Australia, or the Red Centre, an arid environment consisting of several different deserts. In Alice Springs temperatures can vary dramatically, with an average maximum temperature in summer of 35.6 °C (96.1 °F) and an average minimum temperature in winter of 5.1 °C (41.2 °F).

Alice Springs has faced many issues in recent years, largely stemming from an increase in crime and a strong racial divide that has existed for years in the town.

World War II brought significant changes to Alice Springs. Prior to the war, Alice Springs was an extremely isolated settlement of fewer than 500 people. During the war, however, the town was an extremely active staging base, known as No. 9 Australian Staging Camp, and a depot base for the long four-day trip to Darwin. The railway hub in Alice Springs was taken over by military operations and the number of soldiers posted in Alice Springs grew rapidly, as did the number of personnel passing through on their way to and from Darwin. When Darwin was threatened by Japanese forces, the sea routes—the Northern Territory capital's primary means of transportation and resupply—were cut off. The evacuation of Darwin first brought a large number of civilians including elected officials and many of the territory government's records. Alice Springs became the war-time civilian capital of the Northern Territory. When Darwin was bombed by Japanese air forces, a large number of military personnel and their heavy equipment were rapidly moved south to Alice Springs.

The Coorong - Located in Southern Australia, southeast of Adelaide, the 
Coorong is a place of tranquility, solitude and wonderment. 

The distinctive landscape is an important breeding area for the Australian pelican and is a refuge for ducks, swans, cormorants, terns, grebes and numerous species of migratory birds. 

The Coorong, most likely derived from an Aboriginal word karangk meaning narrow neck, is one of the most breathtaking national parks in Australia. The Coorong is of Aboriginal significance and renowned for its archaeological sites.
Stretching more than 130 kilometres, Coorong National Park protects a string of saltwater lagoons which are sheltered from the Southern Ocean by the sweeping sand dunes of the Younghusband Peninsula.
The western end of the Coorong lagoon is at the Murray Mouth near Hindmarsh Island and the Sir Richard Peninsula, and it extends about 130 kilometres (81 mi) southeast. The Coorong National Park park was formed in 1966 as a sanctuary for many species of birds, animals and fish. It attracts many migratory species. It provides refuge for these animals during some of Australia's regular droughts. The 467 square kilometres (180 sq mi) also supports coastal dune systems, lagoons and coastal vegetation. 
One of the unique aspects of the Coorong is the interaction of water along its length, with sea water and Murray River water meeting rainfall and groundwater. The freshwater supports the fauna (animal) of the area while the sea water is the habitat for much of the birdlife.
The waters of the Coorong are a popular venue for recreational and commercial fishers. The popular 'Coorong Mullet' and 'school mulloway' are the main species. 
A wetland of international significance and important archaeological site, the Coorong is of enormous cultural significance to the Ngarrindjeri people, with ancient mounds of discarded shells revealing archaeological evidence of Aboriginal campsites over thousands of years.

The Hay Plains - The Western part of New South Wales Australia, the Hay Plain is located halfway between Sydney and Adelaide, and about five hours from Melbourne. The Hay Plain is called one of the flattest places on earth.

The town of Hay is a historic farming town in the heart of Country New South Wales. Located on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River and surrounded by the vast grasslands of One Tree Plain, Hay has many fine heritage buildings and a diverse collection of museums. 

During World War II Hay was the location of internment and prisoner of war camps, due in no small measure to its isolated location. Three high-security camps were constructed there in 1940. The first arrivals were over two thousand refugees from Nazi Germany and Austria, many of them Jewish, aged between 16 and 45. They had been interned in Britain when fears of invasion were at their peak, and were then transported to Australia aboard the HMT Dunera. They arrived at Hay on 7 September 1940 in four trains from Sydney and were interned in Camps 7 and 8 (located near the Hay showground) under the guard of the 16th Garrison Battalion of the Australian Army.

Later known as the 'Dunera Boys', the internment at Hay of this assemblage of refugees from Nazi oppression in Europe was an important milestone in Australia's cultural history. 800 of those interned at Hay eventually chose to remain in Australia. The influence of this group of men on subsequent cultural, scientific and business developments in Australia is difficult to over-state; many became an integral and celebrated part of the nation’s cultural and intellectual life. The 'Dunera Boys' are still fondly remembered in Hay. Every year the town holds a 'Dunera Day' in which many surviving internees return to the site of their former imprisonment.

Uluru - Sometimes known as Ayers Rock, Uluru is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory in central Australia.

Uluru rises 348 metres above the plain, more than 860 metres above sea level. That's higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Chrysler Building in New York.

If you walk right around the base of Uluru, you'll find it has a circumference of 9.4 kilometers, or about 5.8 miles. 

In summer it can get really hot. Temperatures can reach up to 47 degrees Celsius in summer, that's over 116 degrees Fahrenheit. But you might be surprised to learn that the park still gets around 307 millimetres of rainfall a year and temperatures can drop to minus seven degrees Celsius, 19 degrees Fahrenheit, on winter nights.

In 1950 Ayers Rock, today known as Uluru, was declared a national park. In 1958 both Ayers Rock and Mt Olga (Kata Tjuta) were excised from an Aboriginal reserve to form the Ayers Rock/Mt Olga National Park. It took more than 35 years campaigning for Ananou, the native Aboriginal people, to be recognized as the park's traditional owners and given the deeds back to their land.

Ananou now own all of Uluru and Kata Tjuta and lease it back to Parks Australia to be jointly managed as a national park. This arrangement first came into place in October 1985, in an historic moment known today as handback.